© 1945 Columbia Pictures Corporation

Life with Blondie (1945)

The 16th film in the Blondie series is certainly better than the proceeding installment, and it seems the writers had gotten back into stride after a two year hiatus. The plot centers around the family dog, Daisy. The movie opens with Daisy being chased by the city dog catcher, who is furious that she is always running around off a leash. The dog has also been chasing a neighbor’s cat. The tide of public opinion changes when a woman in the neighborhood receives a letter from her son in the Navy who writes that the boys in his unit love the photo mom sent of Daisy, and voted her the “Navy’s favorite pinup dog.” The pouch soon becomes a celebrity, appearing in magazine ads and usurping Dagwood as the main breadwinner in the family. Meanwhile, the girlfriend of local gangster takes a liking to the dog and demands to have it as a present. When the Bumsteads won’t sell, they gangster’s thugs kidnap it, and the whole thing end in a very goofy fight between Navy sailors and gangsters in a nightclub.

The gangster’s girl is played by Veda Ann Borg, who I remember in rather small parts in Mildred Pierce and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. Borg specialized in playing brassy, low-class sexpot roles. Since she stands out so much in the small roles I have seen her in, I wondered why she was never given anything bigger. It turns out that a few years into her career, in 1939, she was in a terrible car accident, and had to go reconstructive surgery on her face. So maybe she did not photograph well for close-ups. Anyway, it is her hissing delivery of tough dialogue that I love from her, and we get to hear a bit of it in this film, which is one of the few redeeming factors.

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